From October, the name of the Sauvignon Blanc specialist brand will change on a global scale to place a much stronger emphasis on its New Zealand heritage. The wine itself will not be affected.
Pernod said the transition to Brancott Estate, the name of the first vineyard to be planted in New Zealand's Marlborough region in 1973, would be phased into packaging and advertising on a gradual basis, with the Montana name finally disappearing in 2011.
Simon Thomas, MD for wine at Pernod, admitted the brand had not fully leveraged the marketing power of its heritage.
The rebrand comes after a tough year for Montana, with sales dropping 17.4% in volume and 15.8% in value [Nielsen MAT 15 May 2010]. Lee James, channel director for wine at Pernod, put the slump down to the demise of First Quench and a surplus of New Zealand wine on the market.
However, James added that Montana's debut TV ad, which hit screens in April this year, had sparked increased demand for the brand, with sales surging 53% in value and 66% in volume over the past eight weeks.
"The UK marketing investment behind Brancott Estate will double as part of an upweighted global spend," Thomas added.